Page last updated: September 17, 2018

Contrasting staff and student views on alcohol education provision in a UK university

Alcohol education and awareness programmes to teach individuals the risks of excess consumption are common in UK universities, despite limited evidence of success with student cohorts. A study explored the development and delivery of such alcohol activities at one UK university.

In-depth, one-to-one interviews were carried out with non-academic staff and with firstyear students. These aimed to understand the development of alcohol awareness messages and staff involvement in delivery, as well as exploring student responses to key alcohol educational activities.

Results indicate that alcohol is a normalised aspect of UK student identity and is accepted as such by students and staff. Despite this, there is a widely held view that the university has a responsibility to provide alcohol education and awareness, which forms the basis of current practice on campus.

The authors state that this reflects perception of education interventions as non-coercive and acceptable within the staff–student relationship, with limited support for more interventionist approaches. The authors found that although the staff approved of the education on offer as appropriate, the students rejected these same approaches as reminiscent of school, instead favouring selfdirected learning or peer-led programmes.

Source: Contrasting staff and student views on alcohol education provision in a UK university R Brown, S Murphy. Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy, published online: 29 May 2018.

doi.org/10.1080/09687 637.2018.1475548

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